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Disquiet Junto Project 0497: Benjamin’s Glass

The Assignment: Pay tribute to Benjamin Franklin and his armonica

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group, a new compositional challenge is set before the group’s members, who then have just over four days to upload a track in response to the assignment. Membership in the Junto is open: just join and participate. (A SoundCloud account is helpful but not required.) There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, July 12, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, July 8, 2021.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0497: Benjamin’s Glass
The Assignment: Pay tribute to Benjamin Franklin and his armonica

As the 500th Disquiet Junto project approaches, we’re revisiting some of the earliest projects. This was the third project, back in January 2012. Note that unlike later projects, it wasn’t listed as a series of steps:

This project is in honor of Benjamin Franklin, after whose Junto Society our little group was named. In an effort to expand and refine the glass harp, Franklin developed his own lathe-like glass harmonica, which he called the “armonica.” Marie Antoinette took lessons on it and Beethoven composed for it, but Franklin’s invention proved expensive and fragile, and it had a limited lifetime. And it may have given its frequent users lead poisoning.

You are not being asked to build a Franklin armonica. But like Franklin, we are going to expand on the glass harp. In our case, we are going to do so digitally.

You’re being asked to use the more common instrument, the glass harp. That involves the familiar “rubbing the top of a wine glass that has water in it” approach:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass_harp

The Junto assignment is to record a live performance on the glass harp, and to employ live processing in the performance. There should be no post-production. And there is no length limit for the piece, though I would suggest that anything over 15 minutes may limit the size of your potential audience.

There is additional information in the project’s original post, which is from January 30, 2021:

http://disquiet.com/0003

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0497” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your tracks.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0497” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation of a project playlist.

Step 3: Upload your tracks. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your tracks.

Step 4: Post your tracks in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0497-benjamins-glass/

Step 5: Annotate your tracks with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtag #DisquietJunto so fellow participants are more likely to locate your communication.

Step 7: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, July 12, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, July 8, 2021.

Length: The length of your finished track is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0497” in the title of the tracks, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, be sure to include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Download: It is always best to set your track as downloadable and allowing for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution, allowing for derivatives).

For context, when posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

More on this 497th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Benjamin’s Glass (The Assignment: Pay tribute to Benjamin Franklin and his armonica) — at: https://disquiet.com/0497/

More on the Disquiet Junto at: https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here: https://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0497-benjamins-glass/

There’s also a Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

The image associated with this project is by Peter Roan, and used thanks to Flickr and a Creative Commons license allowing editing (cropped with text added) for non-commercial purposes:

https://flic.kr/p/bgtGiv

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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  • My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).

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